What is wiping over socks in islam? What is khuf?
The leather footgear which covers the foot up to the ankle bone (including the ankle bone), and by which it is possible to walk is called khuff in Arabic. Wiping over khuff, a limb, or the bandages wrapped around a wound with wet hands is termed as mash.
Islam is a religion which always provides easiness in times of difficulty. Wiping over a mast or a bandage during ablution is a convenience provided by Islam in times of hardship just as the convenience of performing dry ablution in times of lack of water or when it is not possible to use water.
I. The Conditions which make Wiping over Footgear (khuff) Permissible
There are six conditions for the permissibility of wiping over footgear:
- Footgear must be worn while in the state of minor ablution. One needs to perform the minor ablution first, and then wear both khuffs. It is not an acceptable way if the person wears the right footgear after washing the right foot and wears the left footgear after washing the left foot.
- The footgear must be clean. There should not be any impurity on or in them. It is not permissible to wear footgear made from un-tanned animal skin as khuffs.
- The footgear must cover the parts of the feet that need to be washed in minor ablution: They should cover all parts of the foot up to the ankle bone (including the ankle bone). Footgear with ties or zips must be kept tied or zipped after wearing them at all times. There should not be any torn part or hole on the parts of the footgear covering the obligatory parts of the foot.
- The footgear must be durable enough to continuously walk with them. They should be durable enough to walk three days and nights (about 135 km). It is not appropriate to wear footgear made from excessively thin leather, wool socks, or irritating materials and footgear that are either too large or too tight.
- The footgear should not let water reach the feet. In addition to leather, footgear can be made from other materials such as wool, cotton, felt, etc. Footgear made from such materials must be thick enough to prevent water reaching the feet, to stand alone, and not to be in transparent color.
- There should not be anything worn over the footgear (khuff) when wiping over them. For example if someone wears shoes over the khuff, he cannot wipe over the shoes. In the same manner, one cannot wipe over footgear that is worn over bandages.
II. The Proper Way of Wiping over Footgear
After performing minor ablution, one needs to wear footgear before anything nullifying the state of minor ablution happens. If the footgear has zip, it should be zipped after wearing.
After time passes and something nullifying minor ablution happens, the person wearing the footgear (khuff) should perform minor ablution again. When it comes to washing the feet, the person instead washes his hands. By his wet right hand, he wipes his right foot from its fingers up to the ankle, while wiping the underneath the right foot beginning from the heel down to fingers by wet left hand. Then the same process is done to the left foot and wiping over the footgear is completed.
When wiping over the footgear, fingers need to be kept separated. It is a Sunnah to wipe it in form of lines when wiping over and under the footgear. Wiping only under the footgear, its heel, or its sides is not enough.
Repeating the process of wiping and washing the footgear instead of wiping is not appropriate, rather, it is reprehensible.
III. The Length of the Period of Time for Wiping over Footgear
Wiping over the footgear is only permissible for a certain period of time. Wiping over the footgear is permissible for one day and one night, i.e. twenty four hours for the residents of a place. For the travelers, it is permissible for three days and three nights, i.e. seventy two hours. If a traveler returns to his homeland in less than three days or if he gets back to his resident status, the time for the permissibility of wiping over footgear decreases to one day and night.
According to Maliki School, there is no time limit for the permissibility of wiping over the footgear. As long as nothing happens, which requires major ablution, one may continue to wipe over the footgear. However, it is recommended for those who go to Friday Prayer to take of the footgear and wash the feet on Fridays.
The time for the permissibility of wiping over footgear does not begin at the moment when one wears the footgear. The time begins after something that nullifies the minor ablution happens. For example, if one performs the minor ablution and wears the footgear at 6 o’clock and something that nullifies the minor ablution happens at 10 o’clock, the time of permissibility of wiping over footgear begins at 10 o’clock.
IV. Things that Nullify Wiping over the Footgear
- If the time for the permissibility of wiping over the footgear ends.
- If the footgear (even one of them) is taken off intentionally or unintentionally.
- If one or both of the footgear loses its features required to be accepted as valid footgear (khuff).
- If the foot becomes visible because of a tear on the footgear or untying its ties or unzipping its zip.
- If there is doubt whether or not the time limit for the permissibility of wiping over the footgear has ended.
- If anything that nullifies major ablution happens. In that case, one needs to take off the footgear in order to perform the major ablution.
V. Wiping over Bandages (Jabira)
If there are bandages wrapped over the limbs related to the minor or the major ablution due to a necessity, like a wound, and if undoing the bandages and washing the limb can be harmful to one’s health, it is permissible to wipe over the bandages instead of washing that particular limb. One who is in the state of major ritual impurity does not need to undo the bandages in order to perform the major ablution.
Even though washing the limbs related to the minor ablution three times is a Sunnah, wiping over the bandages only once is enough. It is not necessary to wipe all over the bandage. Parts of the limb not wrapped by bandages should be washed.
It is not necessary to wrap the bandages while being in the state of minor ablution. The rulings about the plaster over the broken limbs are the same. The limbs covered with medicine are also subjected to the same rules.
Not only the bandages over the wounds but also the bandages wrapped over the broken, dislocated, etc. limbs can be wiped if it is dangerous to undo the bandages and wash them.
When the bandages wrapped over a wound is undone, to inspect it or apply medicine on it, and then wrapped again, it does not nullify the wiping over it.
There is no time limit for the permissibility of wiping over the bandages. One can continue to wipe over them until the wound is healed or until the danger of washing it dissipates. When the justification to wipe completely ceases to exist, the bandages are undone and the permission to wipe over the bandages ends.
Source: Fiqh1 (According To The Shafi’i School Of Islamic Law), Erkam Publications